GLADYS RIPLEY (Contralto) MILDRED DILLING (Harp)
THE WIRELESS MlLITARY BAND
Conducted by B. WALTON O'DONNEL THE opera Tancredi, of which only the Overture is now known, was the first of Rossini's operas in what was called ' the grand manner.' Till then (1813) he had composed only short and very light comic operas, not much more than what we should now call operettas. Tancredi made a convincing success, and though it never won the enduring fame of The Barber or William Tell, one number from it survived for many years. Listeners will remember that in The Barber a singing lesson is given on the stage, and though the lesson is itself a burlesque, the Prima Donna seizes the occasion to sing a brilliant solo piece. For many years it was traditional for the singer to choose for that scene an air from Tancredi, but even it has disappeared from concert programmes as from its place in The Barber. LIKE more than one of his gifted compatriots, Rimsky-Korsakov began his career as a musician from the amateur's point of view. Born in that class of Russian society whose sons have a choice of only two careers, he was a sailor until his thirtieth year. Even after his fine musicianship had earned him the appointment of Professor of Composition in the Petrograd Conservatoire, he carried on its duties for some time without relinquishing his rank on the active list of the Navy. That there was nothing amateurish in his musical equipment is by now very clearly recognized. He is known as one of the most brilliant member? of the modern Russian school. whose work combines something of Eastern gorgeousness with the sombre traits of the Slav character.
In this piece he has given us a sparkling study in the vivacious Spanish manner. Most of the movements are in Spanish dance rhythms, with characteristic names. The first is an Alborada, with a boisterous theme which the violins begin in unison. It is followed by a theme, announced by the horns, on which a short series of variations is built, and thereafter the first Alborada reappears in an altered guise. with different orchestration. but with all the same strenuous energy which characterized its first appearance.
The fourth movement is called * Sceno e canto gitano' (Gipsy Song). It. begins with a series of elaborate Cadenzas. Horns and trumpets together play the first one. to be followed in turn by solo violin, flute, clarinet and harp, after which the movement pursues its' somewhat wayward and capricious course, the themes being mainly those of which we have heard hints in the Cadenzas.
The fifth and last movement is a Fandango asturiano, of which the sturdily rhythmic tune is first presented by wood. winds and violins in unison ; a short Coda, work. ing up to a boisterous, hurrying close, is founded on the tune which we heard first in the opening Alborada.
BAND Overture, ' 'Tancredi' - Rossini
GLADYS RIPLEY Hindoo Song - Bemberg
O Lovely Night - London Ronald.
BAND Suite from Carmen' - Bizet Prelude (The Toreadors); Intermezzo (Nocturne) ; Entr'acte (The Dragoons of Alcala) ; Bohemian Dance
MiLDRED DILLING Contemplation - H. ReniÃ©
Tic-toc-choc - Couperin
Valse Romantique - De Severac
Etude de Concert - Godafroud
BAND Spanish Capriccio - Rimsky-Korsakox
GLADYS RlPLEY All through the Night (Welsh Air) Mammy's Lullaby - J. Thompson
All Souls Day - Lassen
BAND Three Dances (' Tom Jones - German Morris Dance; Gavotte; Jig